Friday, November 30, 2012

Feature Friday - Automatic Threader

Brother CE8080PRW - New Sewing Machine

My Favorite Feature - Right Now, Today:

Automatic Threader

Okay, so it took me about 30 - 40 minutes to get it..... More like the magic threader.  I mean, I would luck up and make the automatic threader work, but I couldn't figure out how.  Until I watched this you tube video posted by whoyoum:  First Steps with Brother CE8080PRW Computerized Sewing Machine

I can wind a fresh bobbin, do the upper threading, and use my automatic threader in about 2 minutes (and, that includes time for my happy dance!).  Now, that's fast!

This has got to be the best thing ever!  Well, until I figure out the next best thing.

Needles Up,
Always Audrey

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dear Button Holes, I'm No Longer Afraid!

I hope you don't get tired of hearing this... Because, I doubt that I'll get tired of saying it.


Here's the 8 Button Holes that I can now make!

This weekend after getting it set up.  I started playing around with the different button holes.  OMG!  There are 8 different button holes.

I used black thread on pink fabric, so that I would be able to see everything clearly. 

Closer view of Button Holes

Needles Up,
Always Audrey

Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday &

Looking back on my Black Friday order, I should have planned out what I wanted.  I set my alarm clock to wake up at midnight - so, that I would be the first (or, at least among the first) to catch the sales prices....

But, my order ended up being all over the map.  (Like, I bought fabrics and thread, but none - except black - of the colors match!)  I'm beginning to think the whole point of the sale starting at midnight --> was to catch someone like me.  Since, I know I'll need to place another order.  LOL!

I should have started thinking about my spring / summer sewing before I placed that order.  So, I have some random things that don't really match up with my *new* sewing plans.  (Honestly, I'm still learning how to plan the plan.)  I really only sat down and started thinking about it (for real, for real) on Saturday. 

In addition, to the items listed below, I got some $1.95 clearance fabrics and thread.

I'm making my birthday dress from this fabric (sunshine yellow broadcloth).  I also ordered some of this in red.  The Vogue Pattern has already been ordered.

I want to make a leather-look skirt, so I ordered this vinyl in black.  Wait, did I order the Teflon foot?  You already know.  I'll put that on my list. 

In 2013, I want to make a quilt.  So, I ordered this for my pieces to get started.  There's a free Craftsy class - Block of the Month - that I heard about from Sann (blog: Wow Sew into It). 

I have some ambitious goals, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.  And, with this holiday weekend (especially, since I celebrated early with my family) I've had a lot of chances to get things done. 

And, I'm working on my first jacket!  Oh, yeah.

Needles Up,
Always Audrey

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Friday & MTMMO

My Total Money Makeover Update:

In case you were concerned, all of my Black Friday transactions were apart of my planned spending.  I know that I love to shop the best deals.  (There are 2 Wal-Marts within 5 miles of my house - so, that's not a problem.  Although, I have a list of stores that I avoid.)  I also know the majority of them happen on and/or around Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday.

I actually made a plan back in July for November spending....
Who is this girl?  *Sew ReInvented Audrey*
And, what has she done with Audrey?  LOL! 

*I knew that I wanted to buy either a sewing machine or a serger - budgeted amount $150.00 (this was based on getting the "it" that was on sale)
*I knew that a new sewing machine would lead to new patterns & new fabric / supplies - budgeted amount $100.00 (this was based on going to Joann's or Hancock's for patterns on sale and placing an order on
*I knew that there were some other miscellaneous things that I would want (or, convince myself that I need) - budgeted amount $100.00

Total Planned Spending - $350.00

So, how did I do:

*New Sewing Machine - $135
*New Patterns (9 in total) - $23
*New Fabric & Notions - $46
*Miscellaneous Items (cake platter, DVDs & Rubbermaid storage) from Wal-Mart - $40
*Mommie's Christmas & B-day (1/3) present - $107

Total Actual Spending - $351.00
**To make the math easy, I rounded up to whole dollars. My total was $348.76.

I'm sew excited! 

It feels good to make a plan, and be able to do everything you wanted to do within that plan.  All this time, who knew?  Although, when I make my plan next year.  Ha-ha!  *I'm already planning to plan for next year.*  I'll be sure to include a budget for Mommie's b-day & Christmas.  This year, she wanted an electronic - and, of course, I found a great deal on Black Friday. 

Needles Up,
Always Audrey

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday & New (to me) Vogue Patterns

Of course, once I decided that I would purchase a new sewing machine on Black Friday..... That, really meant two things:
#1 - I would need to purchase some fabric (more on that later); and #2 - I would need to purchase some patterns.  Ha-ha!  Any excuse will do.

On Vogue Patterns Website - there's a fantastic $.99 sale on Out of Print Patterns (hence, they are new to me!).  The best part about OOP - there are reviews on Pattern Review (I love that website) and it helps me make a more informed decision on whether or not I should try a pattern.


I already ordered some yellow broadcloth to make this exact dress.  I would love to rock this on my b-day!


I purchased a few other patterns, but these highlight the newest arrivals in my collection.  I'm sew excited.  And, yes, I was up at 6 a.m. setting up the sewing machine.  As soon as I finish my coffee, I'll be making automatic button holes!  I'm gonna try all 8 of them out.  I can't believe I went from straight / zigzag stitch to 80 stitches overnight.  OMG!  **Insert insanely happy, happy dance!**

Needles Up,
Always Audrey

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday & My New Sewing Machine!

I bought a new sewing machine!
I've only had my previous sewing machine for a year (I bought it last year on Black Friday), but, when I purchased it I bought the most basic $50 machine.... I hadn't sewn anything in years (more, like decades).  And, I wasn't sure I would actually use it - BUT, I have.
It was hard trying to decide what would be the right machine for me.  I mean, I didn't want to purchase another machine that I would outgrow in a year or so, but I also didn't want to make a major purchase. 
Really, I thought I made a decision - but, Wal-mart announced a last minute roll back.  I didn't see the update until late Wednesday night, so I knew - I would be headed out to the stores first thing on Black Friday morning.
I ended up with a Brother CE8080PRW (the pictures above are from Brother's website). 
And, I got it for $134.9780 built in stitches --> with a total of 8 different automatic button holes.  OMG!  Automatic button holes!
All day, I've been planning to get home, so that I could start playing with my new machine.... But, I'm way, way too tired.  Of course, between trying to get the 50% off thread from at 1 this morning (and, they had already sold out of the white Gutterman), and getting to Wal-mart at 6:45, then going to work.... I'm just too tired.  Really, what was I thinking?
I did open the box, but I still need to take everything out. 

Once, I get it set up - I'll be sure to post more pictures! 

P.S.  I haven't given him a name yet, but I'm sure I will!  Right now, he's MMII (Magic Maker #2)!

Needles Up,
Always Audrey

Sunday, November 18, 2012

No Sewing & A Visit from My Mom

Really, I should say I had a visit from my mom - so, there was no sewing.  And, I'm okay with that.  She came up last Friday, we spent the weekend (Veteran's Day) with family in SC.  I got back home with just enough time to get ready for bed and go to work on Tuesday morning.  I had a thousand plans for Saturday - but, outside of cooking and washing the most basic of clothes (I know I have a W/D, but still) I didn't do anything else yesterday.  I didn't realize just how exhausted I was from that mini trip.

I'm excited to be able to look at the Black Friday ads today, once I get my paper.  I know that some are available online, but I'm old school - I like to be able to highlight, circle, and fold the corners of the pages.  LOL!

I've been considering getting another sewing machine, since originally I bought the most basic machine I could find.  I'm not thrilled with any of the machines I've seen listed for sale, so, I'm still undecided.... We'll see.

I enjoyed Pre-Thanksgiving with the family in Spartanburg, but it's great to be back in the ATL! I'm going to look at my pending projects before my vacation and attempt to finish something later this afternoon.

Needles Up,
Always Audrey

Monday, November 5, 2012

Frayed Nerves & a Tweed Skirt

** I'll be the first to admit that I didn't do enough research / preparation and my frayed nerves are my own fault.

During, PR Weekend (NYC, May 2012) - I saw the most beautiful multi-color tweed fabric.  It was only $6.00 per yard.  *GASP*  Although, I didn't buy the fabric when I initially saw it - I fell completely and totally in love....

I went to look at that fabric 3 separate times and on the 3rd trip - I bought said fabric....

I always planned to make a jacket and skirt from the fabric (I purchased 3 yards).  But, I didn't really make a plan.  I didn't try to understand the fabric or what I would need....  And, after working approximately 10 hours on a skirt pattern that I have perfected in less than 4 - I know that my frayed nerves are entirely my fault.

FYI, I'm not finished - I still need to inset the elastic in the waist and finish the hem.  I will tell you that I LOVE this skirt.  It's exactly what I thought it would be when I saw the fabric in the store....

Now, here's all of the things I wish I knew and/or considered before I started working with this TWEED:
  • The fabric edges need to stabilized so that it does not fray - I used interfacing around the edges.  And, yes this was my first time successfully using interfacing.  Only a smidgen needed to be cleaned off of the iron plate.
Tweed V8541 Skirt by MissLadyAudrey

  • Although, it looks thick in this picture - the actual fabric is very lightweight - to the point of being nearly see through.  Which means, that I needed to either Line or Underline the skirt
  • Needless to say, I had to spend some time learning how to do Line or Underline....
Tweed V8541 skirt by MissLadyAudrey
  • Fabric, Interfacing, and Underlining makes for a very thick combination.  Especially, trying to sew the side seams and the elastic waistband.
  • Still not sure how I need to finish the hem.... I'll figure that out as soon as I can get this elastic in the waistband.

This has been an amazing journey.  So, glad that Faye's Carnival of Skirts got me started on this project.  Although, I would have thought that I would have been done and finished by now!  HA!

Needles Up,
Always Audrey

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Audrey's Sewing Studio (well, it was a dining room) is official!

I haven't been able to sew for the last few weeks.

At first, I thought it was just the change in the seasons.  Then, I thought maybe I need to increase my vitamin intake.  But, finally, I realized:


Previously, I kept fabric in a box in an empty spot in the living room. 
I had miscellaneous items (patterns / notions / fabric scraps) in a shopping bag in a corner of the dining room.
The sewing machine has been on the nightstand of my bedroom.
The ironing board somewhere between the hall closet, the living room or my bedroom - just depending. 
And, everytime I want to sew something - I end up wandering from room to room to room.  Trying to assemble everything I need.  I won't even mention the number of times, I end up getting distracted as I walk from one room to the next.

Well, not any more.

I totally love my dining room.  And, I especially love coming home and seeing the table nicely decorated, but for the immediate future - at least until, I find that it's time for me to move somewhere more spacious.  The Dining Room will Officially serve as Audrey's SEWING Studio.

I added a wheeled 3 drawer cart for fabric / pattern / notion storage.  I have some crocheting items stored in a DSW brown bag (until, I find the right storage solution). I have enough space to stand up the ironing board.  I can easily set the sewing machine up on the dining room table.  And, more importantly - I'm able to have everything in one centralized location.

I feel so much better.  I feel like pressure has been lifted from my brain.  I love knowing that everything is organized.  I love having a dedicated space.  And, I'm so much more relaxed that I'm ready to get back to creating. 

I'm keeping everything on wheels - in the event that I need to use my studio as a dining room.  Then, I'll be able to push everything into my bedroom or closet.

Needles Up,
Always Audrey